Assam population policy criticised for being ‘antiminority’
GUWAHATI: A policy passed by the Assam assembly on Friday to check state’s growing population has received flak from state’s minority outfits for being ‘against the marginalised’.
The resolution, passed by the house within hours of state health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma moving it, seeks to bar those having more than two children from contesting polls, getting government jobs or benefits.
Badruddin Ajmal, chief of the All India United Democratic Front, said the population policy bore marks of the RSS’ influence and targeted the Muslims and other marginalised groups.
“Muslims are not even 1% of the government workforce, and the policy intends to shut them out of the limited job opportunities in the future.
There is a perception that Muslims have more children, but the world knows illiteracy and poverty add to the numbers,” Ajmal told HT .
“The least the BJP government could have done is educate people about the benefits of small families before trying to impose it on the people,” he added.
In a statement, Oxfam India’s Nisha Agrawal had earlier said the population policy infringed upon the reproductive rights of women who could be forced into unsafe abortions.
The Congress found a ‘link’ between the policy and the BJP’S move to bring Hindu migrants from Bangladesh to counter the perceived demographic invasion by Muslims who constitute 34% of Assam’s total population.
“If the BJP is sincere about controlling population, why does it want to bring in non-muslims from neighbouring countries?” former CM Tarun Gogoi asked.